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The 3 Types of Customers That Will Talk About Your Business—and The One That Definitely Won’t

Ever wondered what causes some companies to earn free publicity from customers who gush about them? Meanwhile, countless brands toil away in obscurity hoping someone will notice them.

The difference? Talk triggers. These are the qualities that spur word-of-mouth marketing. They are the talkable parts of your brand.

So recently, a friend shared an absolutely amazing experience he had with a cake vendor (Fati’s Cakes) in Nigeria. It was his Mums 50th birthday and he wanted it to be special even though he going to be unavoidably absent. 

Not only did they deliver the a beautiful cake to his mum within 24hrs after he made the order, they sang a birthday song and gave her a special hand made card with her name engraved on it. This may look like a little gesture to you but it felt like the world to her.

Need i say who i would call on the next time i need a cake… This vendor surely knew how to trigger word-of-mouth marketing.

To understand this phenomenon, we have to acquaint ourselves with the different types of customers who interact with our talk triggers. After extensive conversations, I found that they naturally fall into four categories: uniqueness seekers, experience advisors, fundamentals fans, and skeptics.

Understanding these four personas is the key to defining your word-of-mouth strategy.

  1. Uniqueness seekers will love you as long as you offer something different.

    They come from every walk of life and age group, and their only shared trait is the joy they feel upon witnessing something new. Differentiation impresses and delights them, and they will offer you support and loyalty if your brand presents a clear point of distinction.

  2. Experience advisors are more akin to critics.

    They aren’t really fascinated by differentiation; they want to discuss your product simply because that conversation makes them feel like an expert. This group is the most likely to proactively engage in word of mouth.

  3. Fundamentals fans are all about quality.

    They don’t look for differentiators as much as a good value, solid customer service, and a product that won’t let them down. This group tends to be older, with nearly half ticking the “45 or older” box. They’re generally less likely to spread the word about your brand without a little prompting, but they cannot help themselves if they feel like your offering offers true quality.

  4. Skeptics are the hardest to please.

    They treat differentiators with hostility, as they associate them more with gimmicks than authenticity. These people genuinely would prefer if every company stopped trying to be unique. Ignore them at your own peril, though. Skeptics are more than willing to talk about their distrust with others, giving them a weird kind of power over your talk trigger.

Never stop polishing your talk triggers, and don’t water them down to suit four incredibly different sets of people. The whole point of talk triggers is to stimulate a lively and compelling conversation.

Remember: A talk trigger is not a unique selling proposition. They are real-life attractions, chocolates on hotel pillows. They are the aspects of your business that customers cannot help but gush about the next time they hanging out with a close friend. They are the stories people tell (and retell) about your brand. Pour your marketing energy into that story, and you’re guaranteed to get at least three out of four people talking.

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